Birthday Present!

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Birthday Present!

Post  Xraygunner on Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:42 pm

Ok, the title might just be a tad misleading!... No this isn't going to be an actual render of a Birthday present per se, but it will end up being a Birthday present for my wife.

Here's the backstory: I've been threatening to Draw her a horse. I did one for her a long time ago (when we were teenagers), but now that I'm, *eheeem!* more experienced I'm going to have another stab at it.

The low down: This is going to be WAY ambitious for me. The final product will be a 3.5'x5' charcoal drawing of a Friesian Stallion. I've come up with a general composition in my head and have been dabbling around with it in a bit of a mosaic. The problem is that there are a lot of aspects to it that I'm just not real sure of. Most of them center around light, shadow, and reflections. This is where this thread comes in. My hope is to take the composition that I have in mind into 3D so that I can accurately represent the things that I'm not understanding very well. Problem is that I have a deadline and a lot of work to accomplish in the time that I have. I'll be trying to go from an idea to a full 3D scene, render, and then take what I have and draw that to a highly accurate degree in one month.

The basic idea: [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Please keep in mind that this is a "sorta" approximation of what I'm after. It will be very dark. The sky is stormy, the horse is black, and it's at night. There will be one major point of light which will be the lightning. There will be raindrops falling but in a freeze-frame fashion (no blur). I'm not real crazy about the tree in this representation... I'm leaning more toward a massive Oak.

Anyway, this is what I'm after! Wish me luck!!
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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  BnBGobo99 on Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:56 am

The idea sounds great, Xray, good luck! You'll have to take snapshots of your progress at the end of each day to show us how it's coming along. Smile
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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Xraygunner on Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:31 am

You drive a hard bargain, but I shall try!
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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Radialronnie on Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:24 pm

OoooOOo, very much looking forward to seeing this evolve!

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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Xraygunner on Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:30 pm

I know I'm off to a ROARING start here, but I should be able to put more into it from here on out. Interestingly enough, I found that my basic skills in modeling are worse than I thought! Right off the bat I couldn't figure out how to use the lattice modifier! Embarassed  Anyway, yes, I'm looking forward to it evolving too!
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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Radialronnie on Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:40 am

Xraygunner wrote: Right off the bat I couldn't figure out how to use the lattice modifier! Embarassed !
Need a hand with that?Wink 

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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Xraygunner on Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:20 am

Thanks for the offer, but so far, so good. Found a very simple tutorial for it. Cool stuff!
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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Xraygunner on Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:57 pm

I'll upload what I get done tonight. So far I'm learning a lot about modeling trees. There are plugins and stuff like that, but for what I'm wanting to do I'm going the old fashioned route. This is definitely moving slower than I had anticipated, so I might wind up doing some more traditional 2d stuff to speed this whole thing up. Don't worry... I won't abandon this 3D approach, but I may have to string it along longer than the 2d project. bounce 
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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Xraygunner on Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:59 pm

Ok, I'm not done working for the night, but I had to post something.  The base is shaping up nicely, but I will be sculpting it when all the branches are in place.  Still not sure what kind of tree this is going to actually be, although it is sort of looking like an Oak in my opinion.  I've got the one light in the scene pointing in the general direction where the lightning will be coming from.  I'm actually thinking that I'm going to model the bolt and use the faces from it as the light source.  I'm thinking that I will use some sort of falloff or weight painting so that it doesn't overwhelm the image.  The textures are just placeholders and the ground is just a sub-d plane folded upwards toward the back.  cheers 

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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Strangebloke on Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:21 pm

That is a cracking idea! I've heard of people drawing out 2D stuff to visualise for 3D modelling. I don't remember hearing of anyone doing it the other way round.

Obvious when you think of it though, what better way to see where the shadows fall?

Keep going amte, I'm looking forward to seeing this develop.

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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  BnBGobo99 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:00 pm

G'ah! For some reason in my mind you were just doing the charcoal drawing, and this was a WIP thread on the drawing itself... I totally glossed over the part about you recreating everything in 3D first, this is going to be quite the project in such a short amount of time! Good luck! I know she'll recognize the effort you put into it, and having seen your 2D works, I also know that this will turn out amazing. (No pressure.)
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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Xraygunner on Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:19 pm

Lol! Yep... no pressure! The problem with this little project is that I've been putting it off for... well, about 2 years now. This is the one MAJOR block in my road to cutting loose on the 2D aspect of my aspiring "career". I know it sounds silly, but I promised this to her (my wife) long ago and have kept it in the back of my mind. Every time I think I need to draw something else I'm reminded of that promise and I just can't do anything else until this is done. That's just the way my mind works. So, now that I've got that off my chest I am glad to announce that I've come up with some better reference material, so I will finish the 3D, but probably not before the 2D is finished. There may still be a need to at least block some of it in and throw around a bit of light and shadow for my own purposes, but I don't think I'm going to be putting as much effort into the 3D as I am the 2D at the moment.

So for now I have a rough background laid out and am blocking in the horse. I'll take a snapshot when I've got that blocked in... other than that I could I guess upload the latest test render (just more branches).
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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Xraygunner on Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:42 pm

Sorry I've been so lax on updating anything.  Here's a preliminary.  I've got most of the major outlines done... although there are still some details left to outline, such as the rest of the clouds and the rocks and the limbs, and the... well yeah, you get the idea... it's rough!

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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Xraygunner on Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:44 pm

Ok, well I apparently cut off the top of the image... that's where the lightning originates. Oh, well. Anyway there is much to do and to redo, so please don't be too harsh yet.
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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Radialronnie on Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:00 pm

Looking pretty solid! I'm really liking the horse already!

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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Xraygunner on Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:35 pm

I've come to the realization that this isn't going to come together as quickly as I had hoped. So, I am continuing on, but with a more realistic outlook on the time... which might be another month or two at this rate. I guess that's what happens when you're a family guy!

Anyway, I'm back on the trail of doing more modeling (basic) in order to get the lighting (and lightning) correct. So one of my first tasks in that is to get this horse rig lined out. I downloaded one from Blendswap to see if I could make any headway with some prefab stuff. This is the first time I've ever delved into any of this sort of thing, Lord help me!! I'll do my best to post up at the end of the day. The good news is that I've had today off and have tomorrow as well. bounce 
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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Xraygunner on Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:43 pm

Getting closer.  Little increments.  My main goal is to get all the basic stand-ins, model the lightning and use it as the light source of the scene.  Once that's there then I can play with some water and maybe change the background image.

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Since the background image is pretty small I had to crop quite a bit. There is more foreground and less sky than will be in the final image, and drawing.
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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Xraygunner on Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:14 pm

I've been putting in and taking out some little bits.  Changed the neck on the horse a bit as well.  There's more lightning, rocks, tree, and hair (mane).  Right now most of my time seems to be going into composition.  I'll sit there and stare at the thing for who knows how long just making sure what I've put in is worth putting more time into!  Sloooooow, but sure.

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Oh, yeah... please excuse the barrel distortion. I did a basic crop for a quick and dirty presentation, and then cranked the contrast up so that the faint lines could be seen.
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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Radialronnie on Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:15 am

Still looking good!

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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Xraygunner on Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:57 pm

So, I'm playing around with the scene and one minute I can go into edit mode with the appended horse and the next I can't. I've since removed it and tried to re-append with the same result... can't edit the horse. Any ideas?
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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Xraygunner on Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:45 pm

Nevermind... seems to be working now! Oh, well. Got the horse in a semi presentable pose and am going to work on some of the other stuff, such as creek rocks and lightning. cheers 
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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Radialronnie on Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:45 pm

I had this problem once but regrettably I can't remember which setting it was that I had accidentally changed. You could try joining your mesh with a dummy cube which should reset the object variables. You'll have to re-add modifiers and such though.

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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  BnBGobo99 on Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:15 pm

If I recall correctly, append means the datablock is 'loaned' from the source Blend file. Any changes to the source file will reflect in the appended file, but restricting editing in the appended file. Link means the datablock is copied from the source Blend file, enabling it to be edited in the linked file. ...Or vice-versa, I can't recall which one is which, but I'm pretty positive that's the way it works.
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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  Xraygunner on Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:49 pm

Yep, that's what I got out of it. But I believe "link" is just that... connected to the original data block.
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Re: Birthday Present!

Post  BnBGobo99 on Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:40 pm

How did this turn out, XRay? Smile 
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